Cybergangs, Botnets, and Automation


In their blog, security firm Finjan discusses how a single team of cybercriminals are able to control one of the largest botnet networks on planet. The botnetwork is over 1.9 million computers and continues to grow. 1.9 million computers!

Let’s distance ourselves from the fact that this is criminal activity and the operations are of illegal. 1.9 million computers being controlled by a small group of people. How can this happen? How does a group of people send out and process instructions to some 1.9 million computers? Well the answer to that is easy, automation.

The hackers built an interesting control panel that tells them how many bots they have, the IP addresses, etc. Which comes in handy when they desire to trade zombied computers with other criminal outfits. The hackers also have a command line instruction set where they can tell some or all computers in the net to download trojans and malware. These programs can be thought of upgrades in that they increase the amount of commands a hacker can do with a computer. For instance, the blog identifies two such scripts Seneka and Zch. These to two files can read email addresses, communicate to other computers, execute processes on the computer, inject code into the processes, visit websites, register background services, etc.

Essentially the hackers uploaded a whole new set of services and controls to the computers they hacked and using the above two scripts can make it easier to add more later. Based in the Ukraine, six people are able to control 1.9 million computers around the world. And they do it using automation.

If six hackers can control so many computers from a single server, what can you do for your customers with the help of automation?

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